Transitioning towards Zero Emission Vehicles: feasibility studies

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7million to develop on-vehicle solutions that address challenges associated with the transition to zero emission vehicles. Funding is from Office Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £7million

Opens: 15th Mar 2021

Closes: 21st Apr 2021

! This scheme is now closed


The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), formerly Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) are investing up to £17 million in support of solutions that address challenges associated with the uptake of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in this programme.


The aim of this competition is to fund innovative on-vehicle solutions that support the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEV) in line with the Government’s transport decarbonisation ambitions.

Your project must offer a solution that addresses one or more of the challenges associated with increasing the uptake in zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including:

  • improve ZEV range capability
  • increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs
  • support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles
  • improve ZEV user experience
  • improve sustainability of ZEV

Technology transfer projects from other transport or energy sectors are welcome.

Projects can cover both niche and mainstream on-road vehicles under 3.5tonnes in categories L (mopeds and motorcycles only), M (passenger) and N (goods). Special usevehicles such as emergency vehicles (e.g. ambulances and fire engines), refuse collection vehicles, and recreational vehicles (e.g. motorhomes) will also be in scope.

At the end of the feasibility study, your project must be:

  • ready to continue in future R&D competitions or
  • able to raise private sector investment to take the project outcome to market

Specific Themes

Your application must focus on at least one of the following challenges.

You must clearly identify the primary challenge for assessment purposes. Your solution can cover several challenges but will be assessed against the primary challenge selected.

Challenge 1 –Improve ZEV range capability Advances in zero emission on-vehicle technologies to improve EV range anxiety by enabling increased vehicle range, efficiency or capability.

Challenge 2 – Increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs Tackling on vehicle technological challenges associated with under 3.5 tonne commercial vehicles, including fleets, to improve operational performance or total cost of ownership.

Challenge 3 – Support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles
Technological solutions for special use vehicles, such as emergency vehicles, which are technically challenging but need to make the transition to zero.

Challenge 4 – Improve ZEV user experience Technologies which improve ZEV user experience by for example improving mobility, road-side recovery or their use in a recreational setting.

Challenge 5 – Improve sustainability of ZEVs Solutions that enable battery recycling facilities.

Examples of each challenge are in ‘Supporting information’.


Innovate UK are not funding:

  • projects that do not respond to one of the 5 specific challenges
  • projects which primarily focus on maritime, rail or aviation sector
  • projects that focus purely on battery development or PEMD supply chain
  • internal combustion engine projects
  • projects which address challenges with hybrid vehicles which include a non- zero emission propulsion
  • personal mobility scooters or similar
  • off-highway lightweight 4×4 or recreational vehicles such as buggies and quads.
  • factory based vehicles, including forklift trucks
  • military vehicles
  • business as usual projects
  • zero carbon fuels or their combustion
  • projects for on-highway and off-highway vehicles category N (> 3.5tonnes) and O (trailers for HGVs), T (agricultural), G (off-road) vehicles
  • projects dependent on export performance
  • projects dependent on domestic inputs usage


Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £300,000 and £600,000
  • start by 1 Aug 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last up to 8 months

Innovate UK will not approve project extensions beyond 31 March 2022. You can only claim funding for project costs incurred up to 31 March 2022.

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

Academic institutions and RTOs cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions must have their research team ready to start at the beginning of the project.

The maximum number of organisations allowed in a consortium in this competition is 3, including the lead. This maximum number includes non-grant claiming partners, but not subcontractors.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £7 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

This competition includes 2 strands:

  • feasibility studies (this strand)
  • collaborative R&D

For feasibility studies, up to £1 million has been allocated. Innovate UK will use a portfolio approach and reserves the right to move some of this funding to the collaborative R&D strand 2.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation